Bananas have potential for becoming a source of fuel

May 13, 2009 at 20:58 Leave a comment

bananasJoel Chaney, a PhD student from the department of engineering at Nottingham University, has discovered a way to create a low cost fuel from using banana waste.

For every single tonne of banana that can be eaten, there are 10 tonnes of skin, leaves and stem that goes to waste. The waste can be mixed with sawdust to create a pulp. Then the liquid is squeezed out to create a ‘briquette’. When left for two weeks to dry, you have dry slow-burning fuel that is ideal for cooking.

The emphasis of the project has been on developing a simple technology that can be used in developing countries without the need for a large financial outlay.

In some of the continent’s biggest banana-producing countries like Rwanda, Tanzania and Burundi, more than 80% of current energy needs are met from burning wood. Not only does it have an effect on deforestation, it is also a time-consuming job for women taking up to 6 hours for them to gather wood in some places.

“Imagine just putting some straw onto your fire at home,” says Chaney. It just goes up in flames. You can’t cook food over it, while the briquettes provide a way to cook food in a much better way.”

Harun Rabbani

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Entry filed under: Energy.

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